Edible Wild Plants in Texas

yuccaHiking in Texas shows that the state has a plethora of terrain to offer. There are pine forests, lush green forests with high moisture content, sprawling prairies, and also dry desert regions. There are edible wild plants in Texas that may be found in these varied areas. Native Americans and early settlers relied on the prairie turnip, Adam's needle (pictured right), greenbriers and also clover for survival. Survivalists learn to recognize these edible plants and study how to prepare them if needed. Even though most of these plants taste better prepared, they are edible if ingested raw.

Prairie Turnip (Psoralea Esculenta)

Look for the aquamarine flowers of the prairie turnip. You may also know it under the name "breadroot" or "prairie potato." These edible wild plants were well known to Native Americans and early settlers, and the tubers of this vegetation may be cleaned and eaten raw or cooked like a turnip. Although the root portion itself is small---it measures only about 1 to 2 inches across---the plants grow in clusters; this makes it easy to collect sufficient quantities for a small meal.

Greenbriers (Smilax)

At first glance you might discount this thorny vine with its bright red berries. When you find greenbriers in the woodsy areas of Texas, look toward the ground for young shoots just coming up. Harvest them, strip off the tough other layer, and cook the shoots. If the shoots you find are still very young, you may consume them raw in a salad.

Clover (Trifolium)

Look for this hardy plant at the higher elevations but also in well-shaded, woodsy areas. Survivalists rely on green clover as nutritious and filling snacks. Avoid eating the clover raw, since larger quantities may lead to stomach upset. Boiling them in saltwater for five minutes makes clover leaves easier to digest.

Adam's Needle (Yucca) pictured at the top

The arid climate of Texas makes Adam's needles a plentiful shrub; it is one of the most versatile edible wild plants in the state. The dried portions of the plant make excellent fire starters, while the young flower petals may be eaten raw. If you run across a yucca with a flower stalk, check for fruit. Cut open the interior and look for a milky white color. Consume the fruit raw or place it on a stick for roasting over the campfire.

Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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